America’s Governors Lead Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Republican governors are leading as the nation comes together to confront the public health, economic, and societal consequences as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. By taking bold action, Republican governors are at the forefront of combating the crisis, protecting the public, and easing the burden on families, small businesses, and workers. The decisive action and inclusive, hands-on approach adopted by Republican governors across the country serves as a model of effective leadership during times of crisis.

Governors “Have Taken A Lead Role”; “Decisive” Action In Confronting Pandemic

An Overwhelming Majority Of Americans, Regardless Of Political Affiliation, Approve Of The Job Republicans Governors Are Doing In Response To The Coronavirus Epidemic.

  • “In states with a Republican governor, 87% of Republicans who give their state’s chief executive positive marks are joined by 63% of independents and 61% of Democrats.” (Monmouth University, 3/23/20)

The New York Times: “Since the coronavirus began spreading, the governors have taken a lead role in issuing strict guidelines and stern warnings…”

The Wall Street Journal: “The nation’s governors have been the most decisive, effective political leaders dealing with the pandemic.”

ABC News: “…Governors are stepping up.”

CNN: “…Several Republican governors who have felt the burden of responding to the growing problem more acutely have taken drastic actions to try to contain the spread of the virus — implementing emergency restrictions and taking executive actions in line with recommendations from public health officials and experts.”

Pew Trusts: “Governors were the first to limit gatherings to specific numbers of people, the first to shut down businesses and community programs…”

The Hill: “States increasingly are leaning into stringent alarms and measures to protect their residents, from school and restaurant closures to banning public gatherings.”

  • “Most governors across the country have been holding near-daily press briefings, both to update the most recent case counts and to warn residents to stay home as much as possible. Crisis communications experts said that constantly hammering home the same message would pay dividends as the public becomes more aware of the virus’s threat.”
Republican Governors Have Been “Calm,” “Decisive,” And “Serious” In Responding To The COVID-19 Pandemic


  • “Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday issued statewide shutdowns of all beaches, child care facilities, dine-in restaurants and bars in a bid to increase social distancing as the COVID-19 epidemic continues to grow in Alabama.” (Montgomery Advertiser)


  • “Former U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, a Democrat whom Dunleavy defeated in the 2018 gubernatorial race, and former Gov. Sean Parnell, a Republican, will lead the so-called Alaska Economic Stabilization Team… Dunleavy’s office said the new team will work with his administration on an economic plan as the state prepares for the impact of the virus.” (Associated Press)


  • “As coronavirus spreads across Arizona, shutting down businesses and closing schools, Gov. Doug Ducey introduced an initiative Tuesday designed to bring together those who need help and those who want to give it. includes the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fund, that will direct money to frontline medical personnel, support for nonprofits that run food banks, homeless shelter and domestic violence facilities, and online learning.” (KTAR)


  • “[Governor Asa] Hutchinson’s order on unemployment insurance waived a one-week waiting period and made applicants immediately eligible to receive the benefits. It also eliminated any requirements to apply for the benefits in person.” (Associated Press)


  • “…Gov. Ron DeSantis has been calm and regularly visible, and the state has settled into a pattern of regularly updating the number of cases and tests.” (Tampa Bay Times)


  • “…Gov. Kemp asked the legislature to appropriate $100 million from the state’s $2.8 billion reserve fund to assist health officials and emergency responders in coping with the virus. The governor is right to make this move in an effort to prevent the virus from gaining a bigger foothold in Georgia if possible or at least mitigating the spread.” (Marietta Daily Journal)


  • “The governor also issued a new ‘extreme emergency’ declaration for the state, a step he said would allow him to take additional steps to expand the capacity of Idaho’s health care system. ‘We are doing everything at the appropriate time,’ Little said of the stay-at-home order. ‘We are all in this together.’” (Associated Press)


  • “Given developments over the past few days across the country, Gov. Eric Holcomb’s stay-at-home order issued Monday was the right thing to do. The coronavirus threat is real and gravely serious. Hoosiers need to heed the warnings and follow the directions of government leaders and health care officials.” (Tribune-Star)


  • “Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday ordered the closure of many businesses and recreational facilities in Iowa for two weeks, a substantial pause on both Iowa’s economy and cultural life as state officials seek to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. Reynolds issued her wide-ranging directive through an emergency proclamation made public just about two hours before it went into effect.” (Des Moines Register)


  • “If there’s one area in which Gov. Larry Hogan really excels, it’s in a crisis. His leadership during the spread of coronavirus in Maryland has been calming, decisive and largely spot on.” (The Baltimore Sun)


  • “On Sunday night, the Baker administration announced what effectively amounts to a three-week shutdown of most all activity across the Bay State… Baker’s decisive move was exactly what was needed to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.” (The Republican)


  • “Governor Tate Reeves announced his plans to assist small business owners and unemployed workers in Mississippi during the coronavirus pandemic… Reeves also announced that he will be signing an executive order to provide unemployment benefits to help all Mississippi workers and their families.” (WLBT)


  • “Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten announced on Tuesday the purchase of $17.3 million in personal protective equipment… In response to meet the critical need of PPE amid COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Mike Parson redirected $18 million from the budgets of small departments across state government.” (KRCG)


  • “Gov. Ricketts, along with Nebraska’s public health leaders, are responding to coronavirus with the seriousness they must.” (North Platte Telegraph)


  • “…Gov. Chris Sununu and other top state officials took strong steps at week’s end… Sununu declared a state of emergency Friday, detailing 18 steps to be taken, including a ban on visiting senior citizens in nursing and assisted living homes and the elimination of nonessential out-of-state travel by state and local government officials, public school teachers and students.” (New Hampshire Union Leader)


  • “North Dakota’s official response to the coronavirus, or the COVID-19 disease that results from it, overall has been sensible… Burgum was correct to urge business owners to continue paying workers who have to stay home because they are sick from the virus. He’s also right in asking people to follow basic precautions such as washing hands and self-isolating when sick.” (The Bismarck Tribune)


  • “A week before Ohio recorded any coronavirus cases, Gov. Mike DeWine delivered his first warning, banning spectators from an international fitness and bodybuilding festival that brings in more than $50 million for the state’s largest city… the Republican’s early directives to restrict the movements of residents are being proved prophetic, and many other governors are following his lead while trying to temper the spread of COVID-19…”  (Associated Press)


  • “Gov. Kevin Stitt on Tuesday took greater steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19… In an updated executive order, Stitt mandates all ‘nonessential’ business in the 19 Oklahoma counties with confirmed cases of COVID-19 close for a 21-day period starting at midnight Wednesday.” (The Oklahoman)


  • “…Gov. Henry McMaster’s executive order Tuesday to prevent [restaurants] from welcoming patrons inside is both a sensible step in preventing COVID-19′s spread and also a grim milestone of how quickly our daily life is changing.” (Charleston Post & Courier)


  • “Gov. Kristi Noem signed an executive order on Monday setting a baseline for decision-making related to the novel coronavirus in South Dakota… The order states the actions businesses ‘should’ take if they want to continue operating in South Dakota during the pandemic…” (Argus Leader)


  • “But we know, as do you, that Tennesseans are resilient. We have never failed facing the challenges of our time. In keeping with that tradition, the state’s top leaders have taken decisive and responsible action… We applaud Gov. Bill Lee… for [his] wise leadership.” (The Tennessean)


  • “There will be many directives issued by this office over the coming days,’ [Abbott] told reporters as he issued his first disaster declaration on March 13. Ever since, Abbott has made good on that forecast. Daily and even more often than daily, edicts and proclamations have flown from his office in Austin. They have ranged from letting retired nurses reactivate their licenses to permitting beer trucks to be used to restock groceries.” (The Dallas Morning News)


  • “Utah is showing, once again, that state and local officials, along with health care professionals, working in tandem with federal counterparts, can make significant preparations to minimize the impact of such an outbreak on the most vulnerable. There is a Utah-model approach to this that other states and the federal government can learn from.”  (Deseret News)


  • “Gov. Phil Scott is asking all Vermonters to stay at home to mitigate the spread of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19… The Governor ordered that all businesses and nonprofits — except those providing services or functions deemed critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security — must work from home. Businesses not deemed essential are ordered to suspend all in-person operations.” (Burlington Free Press)


  • “Justice, appearing appropriately somber for such an announcement, also was right when he called it a tough decision… State officials assured the news media on Friday they are working on a means to make sure West Virginia children are fed and have access to other vital services the school systems provide. That’s reassuring.” (Charleston Gazette-Mail)


  • “Gov. Mark Gordon announced the creation of five task forces designed to tackle the effects of the spreading coronavirus…Gordon and other state officials have been working rapidly in recent days to get out ahead of the novel coronavirus, which causes the respiratory condition called COVID-19.” (Casper Star Tribune)